Monday, August 18, 2014

Responding to Ferguson...

Because I've been asked several times now what my thoughts were on Ferguson I decided to shoot off just a quick blog post to address it.  This article is not intended to prove one side's guilt or innocence.  It IS hopefully going to help you think a bit more Biblically through this and any issue.

I.) The truth will likely never come out -

It is a sad reality but the truth will likely never come out.  What happened that day?  Was he surrendering to the police?  Were his hands up?  Did he charge the officer and make an attempt to get his gun?  What were the full details?  Ready for this... I don't know, and neither do you.  We weren't there and it is ridiculous for you and I to speculate based on what we see on our social media feed.  That doesn't mean that those charged with upholding the law should not seek justice and it does not mean that those affected should not seek answers.  We should just know ahead of time that this is a possibility and for those of us who are largely unaffected personally by these events, we should keep it mind that in forming our opinions we may not be forming them based on fact but fiction fed by the media.

2.)  Vengeance belongs to the Lord - 

Vengeance belongs to the Lord.  The rioting response to this is equally wrong.  Many who were not even involved will now and are now suffering as a result either from being the targets of looters or as innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of a tense situation. 
That does NOT at all mean that we should not seek justice.  Those who are peacefully protesting have that right and I encourage it.  Peaceful demonstrations and the urging for of justice through those situations can be extremely helpful when the demonstrating party maintains their resolve to seek justice in a peaceful manner even in the face of hostile opposition to their protests.  Looting and rioting only feeds the stereotype.  All those involved with this are doing is giving those who hold prejudice and bias attitudes a reason to congratulate and justify themselves when they stereotype someone of a different color.

3.) Racism is a sin on either side - 

Racism is a sin.  It is a sin for a "white person" to hold that view towards a person of another color as sure as it is in reverse.  I live in a very diverse area of the Dallas/ Fort Worth metroplex and I see examples of racism coming from all skin colors on all sides almost daily.  It is sad.  It is dangerous.  It is sinful.  Moreover, it is the illustration of man's sinful depravity.  Romans 1 says that it is when man considers himself wise that he becomes foolish.  There is one race.  Yes, you heard me clearly, there is only one race on this planet.  The human race.  To make a distinction between the human race based on skin color or geographical origin is not only sinful it is foolish.

God created but 2 people in the beginning; Adam and Eve.  That was it.  He did not create a "white" Adam and Eve, a "black' Adam and Eve, a "Hispanic" Adam and Eve and so on.  From them were all the nations of this world birthed.  Racism is a sin because it is hating your neighbor or your distant distant relative if you want to look at it that way.

4.) Before you open your mouth, don't -

I have thought long and hard on whether or not to say anything about this in a social media form.  I realize it opens me up for criticism from both sides.  I am not doing this for pats on the back.  I was raised by parents who taught me not to see color in the derogatory sense, my wife and I endeavor to raise our children that way.  Ferguson brings the sobering reality that not everyone was raised that way, not everyone raises their children that way, and my children will have to engage in thinking through these things just like I have had to unfortunately.  I say that to say, before you open your mouth to say something about this issue, please think long about it.  If you are reacting to the media drivel you probably have little to say that is worth saying.  Do not become a source for misinformation dissemination.   Don't blindly regurgitate everything the media feeds you.  They have an agenda on one side or the other.  Don't think for a moment that there aren't parties on both sides of the issue who are only concerned with advancing their agenda and exploit a families grief and loss to accomplish it, they do not care.  Those are the sources you will hear from on the nightly news.  Be very weary of them.  Remember news stations win awards and ratings based on volume of viewers and fast response to breaking stories, not on accuracy and integrity in reporting.  You are a consumer and they feed you what you want.

5.) A man has died -

A man has died.  Michael Brown has died.  Whether he provoked the shooting or was a victim of racial profiling is irrelevant at the end of the day when we get to the root of it that a man has died.  If he was guilty in the situation and you want to celebrate "justice"  I would first ask you to consider what you define as justice, but second I would submit that a life has ended.  While execution (and this was not an execution regardless) has to happen in the course of justice and we celebrate justice, we must keep it in a right focus remembering that a life was ended.  He has died and now when the next big story comes along and the media vans drive away, the family still has to feel this pain and live through this pain forever.  Let's say a video is produced tomorrow that shows the whole thing and Michael Brown is clearly the aggressor and the Officer is vindicated, it is not like the family will see the video and then say, 'well we are sorry he's dead but he had it coming'.  NO!  They will grieve and hurt regardless.  The media wants you to be desensitized to the human element of this story but before you speak on it remember that there are real families involved and real feelings being experienced and your words should be tapered with that in mind.

6.) A man's life is over - 

No, not a repetition of the previous post for emphasis, but the officer involved, whatever his reasons were for shooting, he made the choice to end a man's life.  I have spoken with Police Officers and soldiers who have had to make that decision to pull the trigger and they have all without fail said that they feel that decision almost every day of their lives.  Even if this Officer is cold-hearted and doesn't care about what he did, his family and loved ones will be impacted whether they agreed with his actions or not.  Again, justified for what he did or not, this will have repercussions on him forever.  His career and life to a degree are over.  Yes, he still has his physical life unlike the deceased, but at what value will he have that?  He will always have to live in fear of retaliation. I am not in any way comparing the pain him and his family feel to that of Michael Brown's, of course not, I am merely pointing out again that everyone involved in this is real humans with real pain felt.

8.) Pray for the family, pray for justice -

While we sit back and wait to see how this plays out we, as Christians, need to be concerned with praying for chiefly the pain of the family for the loss of their loved one.  They are hurting and will not even be able to start the real work of grieving until some of this passes over.  The real hurt of this will start when the media and looting and other noise stops.  Pray for them.  Pray that there will be people in their life at that point to point them towards Christ who is the only source of real comfort and hope in these and all situations.  Pray that they figure out how to live life through the pain that will never ever fully go away.

My point is that Christians should be the most careful in their responses to this and any similar issues.  Let's focus on talking about and thinking through the facts that we DO know about the case and avoid jumping on the bandwagon of speculation with Fox News or CNN.  

Pray for peace in that community and the Nation at large.  Pray for the individuals involved in this and its resolution in any way and pray for their families.  Pray that God awaken our Nation to the sinfulness of sin and foolishness of man.  Pray for God to raise up faithful Christians in Ferguson who will share the sin-forgiving, life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ with the residents of that community. That and only that will bring the changes that we so badly desire to see in Ferguson and anywhere else.


Your comments will be allowed, I moderate all before approving their posting.  If what you have to say is inflammatory or derogatory in any way it will not be posted, sorry.  Please be sure that what you have to say adds to the discussion or just keep it to yourself.  The last thing we need is more fuel on the fire of an already tragic and tense situation.

***A word to the family of Michael Brown.***

In the highly unlikely event that my little blog should reach the eyes of the Michael Brown family.  Please know that no matter what the circumstances were, this was still the tragic loss of a life.  A life that was dearly loved by his family and friends I'm certain.   A life that will be sorely missed for years and years to come.  I am praying for you.  I am praying that during the times when the tears seem to flow endlessly and the pain seems unbearable that you will lean all the harder upon the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ.  No one will better comfort you in your despair than He.  In that light, should this somehow reach you, I would like to offer to send you a gift in hopes it will help aid you in the process of grieving.  Please feel free to contact me through the comments on this blog or by email faithbcpastor @ gmail.com.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Radio Interview on G220 Radio with Ricky Gantz

I was recently honored to be invited onto the G220 Podcast Radio program to discuss 2 previous blog articles.  Embedded below is the audio from that interview.  My portion starts around 30 minutes in but the whole program is very very good.

The articles discussed were:
- Whatever Happened to Hannah Montana?
- Do you want to build a worldview?




Check Out Christianity Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with G220 Radio on BlogTalkRadio with G220 Radio on BlogTalkRadio

 -- In case the embedded player below does not work correctly, here is the link to the page.
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